Archives for category: Training Skills

The saga of when the pools will re-open continues.  From what I have heard from those “in the know” there looks like a reasonable chance of the government allowing pools to re-open in mid-July.  The bigger challenge now seems to be the pool operators, local authorities and the government committing to the funding required to ensure that operators do actually go ahead and open the pools when they are allowed to do so safely.  Watch this space!

But we still have our great open water venues to enjoy as well as the virtual company of each other at our dry land sessions to keep it all going.  And with our fantastic club captain and race committee we now have some socially distanced club racing to enjoy, too!

Here is another set I have done at Milton recently for you to try if you fancy it.

Warm Up

  • 1-lap 400m steady swim
  • 1-lap 400m breathing every 3, alternating 20 strokes catch-up, 20 stroke full stroke

Subset

  • 1-lap swum as 6 x 50s 1-3 progressive with 25 very steady swim recovery (e.g. 40 strokes 1-3 prog, 20 strokes easy)

Main Set

  • 3-laps broken up as 2 sets of 3 x 200
  • Swim each set of 3 at 1500m race pace and swum as follows
    • 1st 200 positive split – going out fast like in a race
    • 2nd 200 even pace
    • 3rd 200 negative split – second half faster than first
  • 20s recovery after each 200, 60s recovery between sets

Swim Down

  • 1 or 2 laps steady pace thinking about good technique

During the Saturday dry-land session this week we will be doing the Laura Philip Core set again that you need some equipment for, namely:

  • A small ball, such as a tennis ball
  • A band, and
  • A light weight such as a light dumb bell or large filled bottle of water

See you all Saturday!

Rob

I must admit to feeling pretty disappointed and annoyed that pools are not being allowed to safely re-open on July 4th at the same time as pubs, cinemas, restaurants and and many other venues.  Swim England published guidance over a week ago with the necessary protocols for safely returning to indoor swimming and we have a plan coming together for how we can get this working for Cambridge Triathlon Club.  It is quite clear there is a way to make the return to indoor swimming safe and I struggle to understand how going to the pub can be anywhere near as safe as allowing indoor swimming in a chlorine-filled pool.  Swim England have a petition for the government with over 100,000 signatures already if anyone wants to join Helen and myself in helping them to lobby the government to change their mind.  You can find it here.

So while we still have the challenge of no indoor pool to swim in, and no clarity on when we will, we can still get on with open water swimming and land training.  Another open water session that you could try was done by Helen, Doug and myself today at Milton.  Milton have extended the buoys to be closer to a 400m loop.

Warm Up – 800 (2 x Milton laps) steady pace

Subset – 400 (1 lap at Milton) swum as 30 strokes fast, 30 strokes easy

Main Set – Progressive set, all reps swum 1-3 progressive

  • 3 x 200 (half lap) 1-3 progressive with no rest between each
  • 30s rest
  • 3 x 200 (half lap) 1-3 progressive with no rest between each
  • 30s rest
  • 400 (one lap) alternating 10s fast, 10s steady

Swim Down – 400 (1 laps) steady

For the dry land session this week we will be doing some high-intensity intervals from Wakefield Swimming Club.  If you want a sneak preview with examples of what to expect you can see below:

See you Saturday!

Rob

 

 

Hopefully you are intro the groove with open water swimming and many of you are clearly still doing this alongside the dry land swim focused workouts Tim, Heather, Helen and myself have been doing.  If you want some more ideas for open water training you are welcome to vary or try the set below that Helen and I did at Milton this morning.  10 laps flew by when breaking it up as a session like this and it felt good to get the heart rate up on a beautiful morning for open water swimming.

Warm Up – 600 (2 x Milton laps) steady pace

Subset – 300 (1 lap at Milton) swum as 20 strokes fast, 20 strokes easy (we actually did it as an alternating pursuit with each overtaking the other so alternating the lead to make it a bit more fun and to practise sighting and drafting)

Main Set – Pyramid 5 x 300 with 60s after each 300 swum as follows

  • 300 alternating 75 fast, 75 steady
  • 300 alternating 150 fast, 150 steady
  • 300 fast all the way
  • 300 alternating 150 steady, 150 fast
  • 300 alternating 75 steady, 75 fast

Swim Down – 600 (2 laps) steady

For the Saturday Dry Land session this week we will be doing the Caleb Dressel Corentine #1 core set (yes, the harder one) alongside some longer swim intervals.  Remind yourself of the set below so you can keep up:

You will also need a band for some of the exercises this week.

See you Saturday!

Rob

Open Water swimming is in full swing for many of us now and it appears most of us are doing this despite the lack of space at Milton.  Are you managing to do some sets for a bit more higher intensity as well as steady swimming?  Tim has written some good advice on this on his blog.  Some more ideas based on what Helen and I did for a main set at Milton this week are below:

Warm Up – 600 (2 x Milton laps) steady pace

Main Set – 12 x 75s as 75 fast, 75 steady

Subset – 300 (1 lap at Milton) fast swum as negative split

Swim Down – 300 (1 lap) steady

For the Saturday Dry Land session this week we will be doing the Triathlon Taren core set alongside some more intense Tabata-style swim circuits.  You will need a wall and something to stand on (for step-ups) for some of the exercises this week so please come prepared.  You can remind yourself of the Triathlon Taren core set below:

See you Saturday!

Rob

One thing I am missing about not being able to do our regular pool sessions is the intensity.  I really valued the ability to do some high intensity work in the pool it is especially important as we get older to maintain our VO2 max as much as possible and high intensity swimming is a great low impact way to do this.  It is difficult to replicate during our dry land training sessions but with the return to open water we have a new opportunity.  Below is an open water session Helen and I have done this week to start doing some higher intensity swimming again even though we are still relatively unfit for swimming.  You can adjust to your own environment and level of fitness if you want to try it.

To judge the distances I would recommend either counting strokes or using approximately marked distances.  Most of us swim between 15 and 25 strokes per 25m on front crawl (half that number for breaststroke) and you should know what is approximately right for you.  Multiply by 4 to get strokes per 100m.

Warm Up – on land away from the start area to keep social distancing

  • 10 x single arm swings, front and back, both arms
  • 10 x R-arm forwards, L-arm backwards & opposite direction
  • Tricep stretches
  • Streamline stretch up and to both sides

Warm Up – in water

  • 200 f/c swim acclimatisation
  • 100 brs
  • 100 f/c drills – alternating catch-up and single-arm with straight-arm recovery

Subset

  • 12 x 50s 1-3 progressive with 25 very steady swim recovery (e.g. 40 strokes 1-3 prog, 20 strokes easy)

Main Set

  • 2 sets of 3 x 150 at 400m race pace
  • 10 strokes recovery after each 100
  • 50 strokes recovery between sets

Swim Down

  • 300 f/c steady

During the Saturday dry-land session this week we will be doing the Laura Philip Core set that you need some equipment for, namely:

  • A small ball, such as a tennis ball
  • A band, and
  • A light weight such as a light dumb bell or large filled bottle of water

See you all Saturday!

Rob

It feels like a bit of a mixed week for progress back towards swimming.  On the positive side Milton Country Park has now started to open for a test event and many have taken advantage of the great facilities at Box End in this beautiful weather.  On the negative side Swim England have announced cancellation of all National Swimming events in 2020 including both open water and indoor meets.  I know this is a big disappointment for many of us that love to compete and also have a focus for the swim side of our training outside of multi-sport events.  But I know we are a pretty resilient lot and there are likely to be plenty of other opportunities so we just need to get creative.  Nike’s recent advert is a little bit American but I did think it was quite good for helping us remember how we can use our sporting experiences for the positive.

In the Saturday Swim session this week we are going to focus a bit more on mobility, strength and conditioning rather than cardio as many of you will be starting to some cardio exercise in open water.  For the core set we are going to go back to Caleb Dressel’s Corentine #2 circuit that we did a few weeks ago (it is the easier one of the two we have done) so check out the video below for a refresher.

See you Saturday!

Rob

It’s exciting to hear that some open water swimming venues are now open (Box End and TriFarm) and some of you are taking full advantage.  OK, it’s still very early days and places are very limited but it is positive progress.  Adding this opportunity to those of you that have managing tethered swimming in your garden or a dip a local river then we are seeing more people gradually getting back in the water.  We are also making plans for our return to Impington as you will have seen from Matt’s recent email.  No news on dates or numbers yet but it is good to be making progress towards this.

The Saturday session this week will help us continue with our plan to be stronger and more mobile when we return to the pool with some more stretching, strength and conditioning work.  We will be doing a Tabata style main set this week, which reminds me of the intestity we try and hit in the USRPT fast 50s we do in the pool.

Please do be careful in all the land training and work within your ability.  I know some of you find some bits challenging and are picking up slight injuries so please do work within your limits.

See you Saturday!

Rob

Did anyone see some familiar faces in the Cambridge Independent this week?  If not you can read it online here on pages 60 and 61.

There are some interesting stories about sport in lockdown including Helen’s comments about the three ingredients to motivation – competence, connectedness and control.  I hope that with our regular dry land swim sessions from Tim, Heather, Helen and myself we can increase all three of these areas.  Your competence for the exercises we are doing should be increasing, we are as connected as we can be online and hopefully you feel in control of the time and effort you are putting into these workouts. This should all help with your motivation to get stronger ready for our return to the water.

In the session this week we will be doing a set that has a few more swimming strokes – including a bit of IM especially for Juliet – which is inspired by some workouts by a very good US open water swimmer Lexie Kelly.  No equipment required this week.

See you Saturday!

Rob

 

 

 

Did any of you try writing an imagery script based on the video I posted from Helen last week?  I did.  I wrote one to focus on improving my pace judgement in a 400m time trial.  It wasn’t as good as it could have been and Helen kindly gave me some tips on how to improve by writing a template.  And she has kindly said I can share it with you to help anyone that wants to write and practice an imagery script as part of their preparation for getting back to swimming: Imagery script template

I hope you enjoyed the slightly different warm-up we did last week, which was based on a mobility routine from the pro Ironman athlete Laura Philipp.  We are going to do her core workout routine for part of the session this week and you can see what it is in the video below.  It is in German but with subtitles and you will see that you need some basic equipment to do it, specifically:

  • A small ball, such as a tennis ball
  • A band, and
  • A light weight such as a light dumb bell or large filled bottle of water

See you all Saturday!

Rob

How did you like the video I posted last week about stroke improvements?  I really like this video.  It is a great example to watch and the analysis goes through all the main areas where we can all make improvements in our technique.  One of the techniques that many athletes use to improve both technique and race performance is imagery (also called visualization or mental rehearsal).  A very good Sport Psychologist, who I am particularly fond of, tells me there is a lot of evidence that it has a positive impact on performance, particularly in swimming.  And the great news is that imagery requires little more than a pencil, paper and some focused time and effort, which many of us can achieve in the current time.

So how do I go about doing some imagery?  Here’s a video to get you started:

In the Saturday Swimming session this week we will be doing another one of Caleb Dressel’s core circuits for the subset before we go into the main set.  Check out the video below to see what we will be doing:

The main set this week will be based on some shorter intervals so we will be looking for a bit higher intensity to get the benefit.

See you Saturday!

Rob

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